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Bug 461884

Summary: Fedora cannot be installed on bootable SD-card
Product: [Fedora] Fedora Reporter: Harald Welte <HaraldWelte>
Component: grubAssignee: Peter Jones <pjones>
Status: CLOSED WONTFIX QA Contact: Fedora Extras Quality Assurance <extras-qa>
Severity: medium Docs Contact:
Priority: medium    
Version: 11CC: adam, bnocera, cwickert, fche, ivazqueznet, notting, pbrobinson, pjones, poelstra, sascha-web-bugzilla.redhat.com, scottt.tw, stonezhang
Target Milestone: ---   
Target Release: ---   
Hardware: All   
OS: Linux   
URL: http://wiki.gpl-devices.org/wiki/Installing_Linux_on_booting_SD_card
Fixed In Version: Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
Story Points: ---
Clone Of: Environment:
Last Closed: 2010-06-28 06:44:33 EDT Type: ---
Regression: --- Mount Type: ---
Documentation: --- CRM:
Verified Versions: Category: ---
oVirt Team: --- RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
Cloudforms Team: ---
Bug Depends On:    
Bug Blocks: 438944, 461806, 462851    

Description Harald Welte 2008-09-11 03:13:11 EDT
Recently, BIOS vendors have been starting to implement a 'boot from SD card' feature, much like they have added 'boot from USB memory stick' some years ago.

The only SD-card host controller that I've seen this implemented for is SDHCI compliant host controllers.

While this is a nice feature to support, for most systems it is just a gimmick and not something neccessarry.

However, there are hand-held devices such as netbooks in the pipeline which do not have any other mass storage device. No hard disk and no IDE-attached flash disk or the like. They just have one (more likely two or more) SD card slots and you install and store not only your data but the entire operating system on that SD card.

Furthermore, there are products like Samsung moviNAND which are basically a SDcard in a BGA package that can be soldered onto a PCB. So from a protocol and software point of view it is a SD card, but it is mechanically soldered onto the board. Such device have gained some popularity in ARM-based designs, but we'll likely see them in the x86 world, too. 

I've tried to install Fedora 10 Alpha i386 on such a system, and it failed, since:

The distribution installation initrd needs to

   1. include and auto-load the sdhc.ko and sdhci_pci.ko kernel modules
   2. create the /dev/mmcblk* device nodes as per udev/hotplug events 

The actual distribution installation program needs to

   1. recognize /dev/mmcblk* as block devices that can be used as target device
   2. use a grub-install or similar program that can discover the bios drive number to /dev/mmcblk* device name mapping
Comment 1 Jeremy Katz 2008-09-16 14:17:40 EDT
I have a patch for this in my local tree that I'll push post beta.
Comment 2 Jeremy Katz 2008-09-19 19:31:22 EDT
Not MODIFIED as the patch hasn't actually been pushed yet
Comment 3 Jeremy Katz 2008-09-29 10:37:44 EDT
Comment 4 stonezhang 2008-10-07 02:02:01 EDT
I have tested the FC10.beta version, and found that it remain false. 
I check the changlog about grub fount that the last modify is "* Wed Jun 25 2008 Peter Jones <pjones@redhat.com> - 0.97-34"

So are you sure that you have pushed your patch ?
Comment 5 stonezhang 2008-10-08 02:06:01 EDT
To katz,
   Can you give me a account of svn or cvs ,and so on. I want to join in this tast.
Comment 6 stonezhang 2008-10-09 22:55:52 EDT
To kate,
  I have a patch to grub on fc8, and it could be installed to SD card. The patch is about lib/device.c . But It is not fix this bug fully. It could not embedded staged1.5 to SD(although, it is not important). Of course ,the command grub-install is same.
  I have tested other version grub on fc with new patch, and it is ok also.
Comment 7 stonezhang 2008-10-09 23:08:27 EDT
To katz,
  I have the env about boot from SD.
  If you not , I can tester for you .
Comment 8 Bill Nottingham 2008-10-24 16:01:08 EDT
This patch wasn't to grub, it was to anaconda for allowing the device as a selectable install method. What issues are you specifically seeing with the beta?

grub should handle it fine, as long as the BIOS can.
Comment 9 stonezhang 2008-10-26 21:31:41 EDT
The SD device is found as /dev/sdX(X=a,b,c...) or /dev/mmcblkY(Y=0,1,2...) in Linux OS.
If it is /dev/sdX , everything is ok.
If it is /dev/mmcblkY, the grub could not be installed  to SD(FC have this problem all). You can do following :
mount /dev/mmcblk0p1 /mnt/sd
echo "(hd0)   /dev/mmcblk0" >/mnt/sd/boot/grub/device.map

grub --device-map=/mnt/sd/boot/grub/device.map <<EOF
root (hd0,0)
setup (hd0)

You will found that install error.
Comment 10 Bill Nottingham 2008-10-27 14:00:49 EDT
What is the actual error given by grub?
Comment 11 stonezhang 2008-10-27 21:54:22 EDT
grub> root (hd0,0)
 Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83

grub> setup (hd0)
 Checking if "/boot/grub/stage1" exists... yes
 Checking if "/boot/grub/stage2" exists... yes
 Checking if "/boot/grub/e2fs_stage1_5" exists... yes
 Running "embed /boot/grub/e2fs_stage1_5 (hd0)"... failed (this is not fatal)
 Running "embed /boot/grub/e2fs_stage1_5 (hd0,0)"... failed (this is not
 Running "install /boot/grub/stage1 (hd0) /boot/grub/stage2 p
onf "... failed

Error 22: No such partition


you can modify  lib/device.c 
"sprintf (dev + strlen(dev), "%s%d",
           /* Compaq smart and others */
           (strncmp(dev, "/dev/ida/", 9) == 0 ||
            strncmp(dev, "/dev/ataraid/", 13) == 0 ||
            strncmp(dev, "/dev/mapper/", 12) == 0 ||
            strncmp(dev, "/dev/cciss/", 11) == 0 ||
            strncmp(dev, "/dev/rd/", 8) == 0) ? "p" : "",
           ((partition >> 16) & 0xFF) + 1);
add "strncmp(dev, "/dev/mmcblk", 11) == 0) ? "p" : "","  in it
then build. 

Now ,it new grub could be installed to SD. But It is not fix this bug fully. It could not embedded staged1.5 to SD(although, it is not important). Of
course ,the command grub-install is same.

Good Luck
Comment 12 Bug Zapper 2008-11-25 22:01:52 EST
This bug appears to have been reported against 'rawhide' during the Fedora 10 development cycle.
Changing version to '10'.

More information and reason for this action is here:
Comment 13 Peter Robinson 2009-05-06 09:03:25 EDT
I think this is still valid for F11. I'm not sure if the grub side has been fixed but mkinitrd doesn't see the sdhci driver as a valid so in the case of the OLPC when booting it can't find the rootfs when using as SD card as the bootfs.
Comment 14 Bug Zapper 2009-06-09 05:43:35 EDT
This bug appears to have been reported against 'rawhide' during the Fedora 11 development cycle.
Changing version to '11'.

More information and reason for this action is here:
Comment 15 Peter Robinson 2009-11-20 05:44:34 EST
Is this now resolved in F-12?
Comment 16 Bug Zapper 2010-04-27 08:14:24 EDT
This message is a reminder that Fedora 11 is nearing its end of life.
Approximately 30 (thirty) days from now Fedora will stop maintaining
and issuing updates for Fedora 11.  It is Fedora's policy to close all
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Comment 17 Bug Zapper 2010-06-28 06:44:33 EDT
Fedora 11 changed to end-of-life (EOL) status on 2010-06-25. Fedora 11 is 
no longer maintained, which means that it will not receive any further 
security or bug fix updates. As a result we are closing this bug.

If you can reproduce this bug against a currently maintained version of 
Fedora please feel free to reopen this bug against that version.

Thank you for reporting this bug and we are sorry it could not be fixed.